Exercise And Lose Calories : How The Body Actually Works
You may be thinking of at the beginning of a weight loss journey you will burn more calories. But that’s because you’re carrying around an extra X number of pounds. When you lose weight you burn less when running because you don’t have to work as hard since you’re hauling less weight.
Most studies show that the average person metabolic rate doesn’t vary that much from one person to the next.
There’s definitely variance, but last I checked it’s only like 200-300 calories from high to low. Meaning that a person who eats 2500 calories per day, a person that eats 2350 per day, and a person that eats 2650 calories per day could all 3 weigh roughly the same. Which isn’t s huge variance in diet.
There are definite outliers, but the vast majority of “skinny couch potatoes” very much underestimate how much they eat.
Imagine our bodies are like cell phones. Our body automatically shuts or slows down things like NFC, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth in an effort to maintain our battery. This is a survival mechanism from when we were hunter gatherer and didn’t know when our next meal will be.
But it’s not perfect. We aren’t creating energy that we haven’t already put in our bodies. Weight loss will always be eat less and move more. But yeah, you have to overcome your body’s ability to adjust.
Need a daily 500 calorie deficit to lose 1 pound
Your body is geared and fine tuned to attempt to not lose weight. You drop water weight first which you’ll be thirsty enough to drink something eventually and gain back, but if you push through that, you need a daily 500 calorie deficit to lose 1 pound of fat per week and as you exercise, your body starts building up the muscle and burning the fat while your metabolism drops because you don’t need all that baseline energy burning of you’re gonna do it externally as well, then you do fewer random movements which burns less calories still, and if you don’t get struck by high impulse needs to eat to regain the weight lost, you still have to maintain the new lifestyle for a year for your body to accept that as the new normal and set your metabolism accordingly.
The only things working in your favor is that your body doesn’t give a damn about composition and if you’re 180 lbs, it’ll try to stay there regardless of how much turns into muscle. But muscle burns more calories than fat does and it allows you to physically do more, so you overcome all of that slowly and steadily, especially if you have a controlled and stable diet where your calories in don’t fluctuate much.
If it sounds like a lot, it is. And it’s so so so worth the effort to not be morbidly obese
An equal or more (depending on intensity) amount of calories are burned during the repair and recovery process from the exercise bout. This process lasts anywhere from 24-48 hours.
That’s why they recommend at least 3-4 days of exercise per week, keep your body in a constant exercise-repair-recovery cycle.
Would my body expend less energy after adapting to the exercise?
Depends on the adaptation. Usually the body doesn’t optimize for caloric spend since were not at a deficit, it usually optimizes for other things. For example in distance runners and bikers their body optimizes for oxygen exchange, the ability to process oxygen faster than someone else to keep the muscles working. This is why they blood dope because it improves their ability to oxygenate their blood by pumping it full of red cells.
In power lifters they optimize for output, or explosiveness. Generally to get your body to improve at X you have to do X. So to optimize for calories you actually have to fast, not exercise.
It’s even more impressive when you look at it through the scope of all other beings. Every living thing known to humans runs off of energy. Life is energy, and the consumption of energy is the continuation of life. We are the only living thing that’s consciously and actively trying to burn off that energy. We’ve created an ecosystem amongst our society that makes our incredibly efficient bodies be practically useless. We don’t need to constantly wander to find food, or hunt animals for days on end anymore. We’ve grown past that but our bodies aren’t built for a stationary life style. So we have to make our lives purposefully harder because we are so abundantly rich in the most universal currency: energy.
Can you imagine how stressful life would be if we burned calories close to as quicky as we ate them? We would literally be scrambling every second for food as we’d be hungry all the time.